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A select viewing guide for Tuesday, December 4
REALITY Shark Tank (ABC, 8 p.m.) Ah, Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year for Scroogey rich people turning down poor people who come forth with hat in hand and a really swell idea requiring financial backing. The putdowns come from head meanie Kevin O’Leary, who does the exact same schtick on Dragon’s Den, and his fellow Sharks. Tonight they break out the hankies for a bunch of U.S. military veterans pitching a rent-a-live Christmas tree service, and a Bronx housewife hawking her gluten-free fudge. Also: Former Dragon’s Den fixture Robert Herjavec, now a big shot on this show, updates viewers on his previous investment with the guy who pitched a guitar-training technique called Chord Buddy. Show me the money!
COMEDY Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.) Hey, there’s Matthew Perry again. The ex-Friends star seemed to be on TV again, but this NBC sitcom casting the ex-star as a sportscaster dude sort of grieving his recently dead wife, via forced membership into a grief-counsel group of wacky folk, took a ratings fade after a half-dozen shows. At least they had the foresight to film a holiday episode, which tonight has the wackiest member Mr. K (Brett Gelman) raving that Judgement Day is only days away, so naturally Chandler, I mean, “Ryan,” makes the wiseguy suggestion they make it the same day of the group’s holiday party. Could that be more clever?
FOOD Jamie’s Christmas with Bells On (Food Network, 9 p.m.) Mercy, does Jamie Oliver love Christmas. The elfin English chef dons a Santa suit and dances a jig in this festive special first aired on U.K. last season. While showing off his fetching wife Jools and painfully cute kids Poppy, Daisy, Petal and some other flower, Jamie churns up the butter, with a dash of Horlicks, in this festive cooking special that glistens like a greasy cooked goose. Jamie puts his own unique (sugar) spin on several holiday faves, like hot chocolate, and even brings in his dear ol’ mum to help him whip up some spicy-hot hamhocks. And possibly a surprise visit from Jamie’s real boss: Santa Claus?
FASHION The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (CBS, Global, 10 p.m.) Let the cheap thrills begin! A family viewing tradition since 2001, this annual flesh parade always delivers the ratings for CBS, and probably pushing a lot of rayon over the counter. Footage of the actual VS lingerie flesh parade show, filmed in New York two weeks ago, is weaved sparingly throughout this hour of infomercial style programming for the slow-witted male wondering what to buy his mate for Christmas. Also in the hour is lurid behind-the-scenes coverage of the models slipping in and out of their dainties backstage, and interviews on the VS “pink carpet” with horny male celebrities in attendance. And in between the undies, stage turns from Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Justin Bieber!
MOVIE The Sting (TCM, 10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT) For a movie made damn near 40 years ago, this 1973 caper story pairing Paul Newman and Robert Redford holds up just like a 1973 Dodge Dart (and mine is still running!). Four years post-Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the good-looking pair are strikingly good as a pair of grifters on the make in Depression-era Chicago. Slickster Johnny Hooker (Redford) gets all vengeful when his con-man mentor is murdered by a thuggish Irishman named Lonegan (Robert Shawe). Hooker enlists drunken con-man legend Henry (Newman) to come out retirement and hit the Irishman where it hurts by ripping him off with the big con, which requires a cast of characters the rough equal of a Broadway play. Winner of seven Oscars, including Best Picture.